Wax tags are a useful monitoring tool to detect and monitor possums (and sometimes rats) over medium-to-large areas. It is a plastic tag with a flavoured wax knob attached to it. As with chew cards, the predator is identified by its bite marks.
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How to use wax tags
- The number of wax tags required will depend on the size of the area you’re monitoring.
- Put out wax tags after 7 consecutive nights of fine weather. Pre-label them with numbers or other ID to help with monitoring.
- DOC recommends using luminescent strips plus a lure (1 part icing sugar to 5 parts flour) to attract possums at night.
- Mount the wax tag and luminescent strip on the same nail 30 cm above the ground with the wax block facing the ground. If there are no trees, use a post. Take a handful of lure (e.g. smooth peanut butter) and smear it up the trunk or post to make a 10cm-wide path that finishes just before the tag.
- Use predator tracking apps or other online data management to record any activity.
- For the use of wax tags over large areas, see DOC’s ‘A practical guide to trapping’ (PDF, 6.4 MB, pages 26–31).